Saturday, February 06, 2016

Two Days in Paris

I'm behind on my blogging, which is no good, because much has happened in the last few days! We left England on Thursday and finally got to go on the Chunnel train, which was a unique experience. We arrived at our home outside of Paris in the evening of that day and have spent the last two days exploring the city.

I must admit that I have been pleasantly surprised with a couple of things here. First of all, I have always heard that the Parisians can be quite rude, which has not been the case for us at all. People have been friendly and helpful and polite in every possible instance. Not one person has been rude to us, and, in fact, several people have gone out of their way to be extra nice to us. Secondly, our expectations were set for crazy crowds, which, so far, we haven't seen anywhere. We had already told the kids that it was unlikely that we would be able to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower, because we had heard that it was almost impossible to get up there without buying tickets way in advance, and their website was showing they were booked up solid until February 20. As it turned out, waited about ten minutes (without advance tickets) and got to explore the entire tower, have lunch and snacks, and take all the pictures we wanted without being jostled or crowded in any way. It was awesome! We have also been using the hop-on, hop-off bus, and have been the only people or almost the only people aboard most of the time. Additionally, we did a Seine River cruise last night, which was was very sparsely populated. It's been amazing!

So, yesterday, we visited the Eiffel Tower, did two different bus routes, and took the evening cruise on the Seine. Then, we stopped at an all-crepe restaurant for dinner, which was a fun end to the day. Today, we saw Notre Dame up close and tracked down the museum displaying the statue of The Thinker. We also visited a neat chocolate museum, where we learned a great deal about chocolate's history, watched a cool chocolate-making demonstration, and tasted many wonderful things.

We have been looking forward to visiting the
Eiffel Tower since we first started planning our trip.

One of the many amazing views from the top of the Eiffel Tower

There are many "Places to Kiss" marked off in the tower.
We tried to hit them all!

This is how the kids measure up to the tower

Braving the glass floor in the tower

Clay was "actually being the tower."

We love the hop-on, hop-off bus!

Moulin Rouge

The Louvre

Napoleon's Triumphal Arch

The French were so pleased that the U.S. won
the Revolutionary War, they erected a statue
of George Washington to celebrate.

All lit up

The end of our first day in Paris

Notre Dame

We just read about Charlemagne in History,
so everyone was excited to see him outside of Notre Dame,
though none more so than Clay!

We tracked down the museum where "The Thinker" sits thinking big thoughts.
We loved that we could see him without having to pay for the privilege.

Later, we came across a replica of The Thinker in a subway station.

Not a bad place for a picnic!

Fun at the chocolate museum

A tasty treat at the chocolate museum

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